Second Home

Second Home

Maggie Mills, Refuge, oil on canvas, 44”x 72”, 2012

Second Home

Paintings by Maggie Mills

March 24 – May 4, 2103 

Maggie Mills brought her distinct eye for children and the spaces they inhabit here last spring.  She observed SCEE’s afterschool program, the Monkey Tail Gang, and created this series of evocative portraits of the nature center’s unique spaces and the kids who enjoy them daily.  Juxtaposing simplified, graphic landscapes with realistic figures, Mills’ large oil paintings explore the children’s special relationship to their second home.

Mills is a current fellow with the Center for Emerging Visual Artists Career Development Program (CEVA) and has exhibited widely in Philadelphia and elsewhere.  She received her BFA from Tyler School of Art and her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Our Monkey Tail Gang After School program is guided by our belief that unstructured free play in nature, can be as important to a child’s growth and development as time spent in the classroom. Monkey Tail Gang children learn from and are enriched by the natural beauty of our 340 acres of woods, streams, ponds and meadows.

Artist statement

The natural world has become a secondary home for most of us, with the developed world structuring our lives. The decomposition of nature and industry and the perceived fragmentation of time and space due to technology define our environment.  The young navigate these inherited spaces often with little guidance.

The Schuylkill Center acts as a second home for the children who attend its afterschool program.  Although the imposition of the man-made is measured and beneficial at the Schuylkill Center, humanity’s mark is present. These marks, made largely by adults, affect the spaces where children play, learn, and develop into future architects of the environment.  In Second Home, this narrative is articulated through the deletion, expansion, or simplification of elements of the literal world.      – Maggie Mills, 2013

Maggie Mills, Propeller, oil on canvas, 60”x 60”, 2013

Maggie Mills, Plastic House, oil on canvas, 44”x 60”, 2012

Maggie Mills, Mutualism, oil on canvas, 60”x 48”

Maggie Mills, Fellowship, oil on canvas, 60”x 48”,2012

Maggie Mills, Colony, oil on canvas, 44”x72″, 2012


Maggie Mills, Basin, oil on canvas, 60”x 60”, 2013